University of Tartu - Doctoral Studies

Deadline: May 15, 2023




  • Estonia
Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu


The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading research and development institution with more than 1100 doctoral students conducting reseach at the university each year.


About The University of Tartu 

  • The University of Tartu belongs to the top 1.2% of the world's best universities (QS World University Rankings 2020).
  • More than 125 doctoral degrees are defended annually at the University of Tartu (more than half of the total number in Estonia).
  • UT belongs to the top 1% of the world's most-cited universities and research institutions in the fields of Clinical Medicine, Plant and Animal Science, Chemistry, Environment/Ecology, Social Sciences (general), Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, Psychiatry and Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, Geosciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology (ISI Web of Science 2020).
  • A total of 62 UT scientists belong to the top 1% of most-cited scientists in the world (ESI Web of Science 2020).
  • Doctoral schools at the UT facilitate special projects, foster international collaboration and bring extra funding and support for PhD studies, including international seminars and practical skills training.

A  PhD programme lasts for 4 years and requires 240 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) to be earned for completion. Read more about regulations and organisation of PhD studies at the University of Tartu. Admission is regulated by the document Admission rules in Doctoral Studies.

Which programme to choose?

Read about our PhD programmes and specific requirements on the programme website. On the programme website, you can also find the curriculum overview and link to the website of the respective institute/ school, where you can learn more about their research groups/ labs.

Try to find out which programme best meets your research interests and academic background. If it is not specified on the programme website, your master´s degree could theoretically be in another field, but you should be able to prove you have enough knowledge and experience in the field of intended studies.

You can apply to one PhD programme/project only.

Submitting the online application

Submit the following electronic documents via DreamApply by the application deadline:

  1. online application
  2. doctoral thesis project/motivation letter (depending on the programme requirements)
  3. official copy of the diploma and diploma supplement (transcript/mark sheet) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's) in the original language (must include the description of the grading scale)
  4. official translation of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English
  5. proof of English language proficiency
  6. proof of Russian language proficiency for Russian and Slavonic Philology programme
  7. copy of the passport page stating the applicant’s personal particulars
  8. curriculum vitae (example form)

Incomplete applications or those submitted by e-mail will not be considered. Please be aware that according to the Admission Rules of the University of Tartu you can apply to only one PhD programme. If you add a second one, only the one listed first will be considered. The second will be eliminated.

Opportunity is About


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate

Admission to PhD programmes

Entry requirements

  •  Master's degree or an equivalent qualification
  •  English language proficiency
  •  Russian language proficiency for Russian and Slavonic Philology PhD programme

Applicants are evaluated based on

  •  Doctoral thesis project/motivation letter (depending on the programme)
  •  Entrance interview

Please check specific requirements on each programme website.


Deadline: May 15, 2023

Cost/funding for participants

Tuition fee and scholarships

  • There is no tuition fee for PhD studies at the University of Tartu. Full-time PhD students receive a doctoral allowance of 660 euros per month plus an additional performance stipend of 400 euros per month (both are tax-free payments). The stipends are renewed periodically based on the outcomes of PhD attestation reviews. For more information, see here.

Health insurance

  • All PhD students who receive a doctoral allowance are provided with Estonian national health insurance (Haigekassa). Doctoral allowance can be paid out as soon as a temporary residence permit (non-EU students) or temporary right of residence (EU students) has been obtained. Health insurance coverage is available for the full nominal study period of PhD studies (4 years).
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